CJ picks up toon for South Korea

CJ Entertainment, South Korea’s biggest entertainment group, has snapped up the Studiocanal-sold 3D family adventure “The House of Magic,” the latest production from Ben Stassen’s NWave Pictures, one of Europe’s leading 3D specialists.

Stassen’s follow-up to “Sammy’s Adventures” and “Sammy Adventures 2,” toon feature “House” turns on an abandoned young cat, Thunder, and his new friends who will use every trick in the book to save their mysterious mansion from being sold.

Budgeted at €25 million ($34 million), “House of Magic” is one of Europe’s biggest animation bets, with “a lot of humor and top-quality visuals,” said Studiocanal chairman-CEO Olivier Courson.

The CJ deal went down on a reportedly slow first day of trading at the European Film Market at Berlin, though it traditionally starts slowly.

“CJ is one of most important media companies in the world and very rarely do they buy animation outside their studio output deals,” said Harold Van Lier, Studiocanal’s exec VP, intl. distribution. “CJ’s enthusiasm for our film is a very promising sign that we are delivering something unique and universal and we look forward to creating a great new franchise with them as our partner.”

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